Archive for the ‘Windows 8’ Category

Recently I’ve had to tweak our Windows 8.1 Group Policy following the deployment of some Surface Pro’s. I noticed that a few people were attempting to link their personal Microsoft Accounts with these devices, in addition to this we had a call from someone who had uninstalled the modern Camera Modern App (somehow). I’ve stripped pretty much all of the modern apps out of our corporate image but this one was left installed for obvious reasons. Someone else had also reported that they had a weird Internet Explorer browser, looking at this they had done a search in the new interface which returned Bing Internet search results, these opened up in the modern Internet Explorer App and not the desktop version even though I have a policy configured to load the desktop version.

I already have the Windows Store turned off with Group Policy.

These are the new policies I’ve adjusted with some screen shots of the corresponding results:

1. Prevent Users from uninstalling modern applications from the Start menu

User  Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Task Bar\Prevent Users from uninstalling applications from Start (Enabled)

2. Prevent Internet Search Results from showing

Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Search\Don’t search the web or display web results in Search (Enabled)

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3. Block Microsoft Accounts from being used

Computer Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options\Users can’t add or log on with Microsoft accounts

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I’m using a WMI filter to target the Group Policy at Windows 8.1 Operating Systems only.

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Cheers

Damon

So recently I discovered that certain file extensions with my Windows 8 Enterprise deployments were associated by default with the new modern/metro applications. These included .jpg .bmp etc. Now for tablet users this may not pose a problem but for a Desktop Enterprise scenario it certainly raised some eyebrows with my end users who were consistently switching between the traditional desktop applications and the new modern applications when working.

To combat this change Microsoft have introduced a new way to set and manage these file type associations. You can no longer use a VB or Batch file to script these changes in the registry due to a security hash checking process built into Windows 8. We can now use the Dism utility to generate an XML answer file which we can then deploy and manage using Group Policy.

I recommend following these steps to configure and deploy your desired associations.

1. Deploy a copy of your current Windows 8 Enterprise WIM with your chosen deployment solution. Run up Default Programs under Control Panel and look at your current file type associations. Take note of which ones you want to alter and make your changes

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2. Now we need to generate our XML file. Run an elevated command prompt and type Dism /Online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:\\youshare\AppAssoc.xml This will output a file with all of your file types and their current associations.

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3. Edit this file to include only the file associations that you wish to change. You can elect to keep the file intact in its entirety if you wish. Optionally you may wish to make copies of the file if you have different file association requirements for different business groups in your organisation which you can target using separate Group Policies.

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4. Once you have this XML configured to your preference we can specify it in our Windows 8 Group Policy setting. Open up the Group Policy MMC on your Windows 8 environment (with RSAT installed) or Server 2012 instance and locate the policy Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\File Explorer\Set a default associations configuration file Now specify the location of where you have stored the XML file. A possible option is to use a network share, or you may want to copy/inject the file locally to the Windows 8 Enterprise build as part of a Configuration Manager Task Sequence.

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Hey presto! You now have a method of controlling and setting file associations in your organisation which is flexible enough to cater for the different scenarios you may find yourself having to manage – thanks to the Modern Desktop 🙂

Technet Reference http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825038.aspx